Riverkeeper report: Poor fishing continues on the lower Nottoway

Published 9:17 am Friday, November 25, 2011

Freezing Deer, Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 12th through the 14th on the Nottoway below the Bronco Club.

The water was a clear, fast 50 degrees and 7.29 on the U.S. Geological Survey gauge at Sebrell. Air temps ranged from 41 to 70 degrees.

Other than the wind being bad, it was a perfect weather trip. I saw no water quality issues on this trip.

Trash was pretty heavy though for the Nottoway, and we picked up a half a bag.

Well I just do not know what is going on with the fish. We caught three, 10-inch largemouth, two small bream and a six-pound blue catfish in two days of fishing. I talked to seven fishermen and none had caught a fish and some had not even had a hit.

It seems the lower river really suffered worse from the fish kill than I originally thought. I’m not even seeing many fish on sonar where there are normally hundreds.

The dissolved oxygen is above 7 ppm and the water temps are perfect for the fish to be really jumping right now. This time of year I am usually filling up the boat.

Way upriver I hear the fishing is better, but I have not tried that yet.

Regardless it was a nice trip. Freezing Deer had some time off and it was very nice having her out there even though I had to play referee as usual as Moonpie and her fought for the boat seat.

The colors are at their peak this week, and as always, it is spectacular. If you get a chance it is worth the chilly ride to go see the river all colored up.

We even saw a bald eagle on this trip, and there is one hanging around just downriver from Franklin right now so it’s a great time to go see that awesome sight.

Serious cold weather is soon going to be upon us and the river will turn grey and hostile. Get your family together now and take the boat out one more time, or if you don’t have a boat, rent a canoe or kayak from Blackwater Outfitters in downtown Franklin.

This is certainly the prettiest time of the year on the two rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.